Microscope Monday It’s January, which means winter is in…

Microscope Monday

It’s January, which means winter is in full swing! These white flower (or snowflake) patterns belong to the underwater tunicate Botryllus schlosseri, also known as the Golden Star Tunicate, for the star-shaped colonies it forms. No one knows where the Golden Star Tunicate came from, but it’s been spotted on all seven continents. It often grows on piers, dock floats, boat hulls and other manmade structures—though it’s also taken a toll on some seagrasses, by blocking off the light. It’s garnered a reputation in the #Chesapeake as a “fast-growing pernicious pest” for fouling oyster trays. (Photo: Brianna Tracy-Sawdey)